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“Worth the money once, but wouldn't repeat again.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Annual Gettysburg Reenactment

Annual Gettysburg Reenactment
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worth the money once, but wouldn't repeat again.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

My husband and I planned our 150th trip around the reenactments. I bought tickets for all for days, but not the grand stand. We got to the park early, about 9 each morning, and about 1 for Picketts Charge, and were able to get seats close the to the Confederate lines all four days. Even though we weren't very close to the actual battle, we had no problem seeing, and actually enjoyed being away from the large crowds.

I read carefully the directions sent with the package, and emailed the organization with questions I had. I was told that no, we couldn't bring coolers, but we could bring our own lunch and waters, which saved us hundreds of dollars. I never had any problems with the security checking my bag.

The heat was unbelievable and there was no shade available. We did spend a lot of time in the shade tents after we set up our chairs, and I was surprised how many people weren't using them. The tickets do allow you to leave and return later, but we never came back for the afternoon battles,which have us time to do other things in the town.

If you're planning your trip, consider this an option. Do your research and read the reviews. Be prepared to sit in traffic and walk a ways. My husband and I definitely enjoyed the experience, but it's not something we will do again on future trips. It's too expensive, and I can't imagine that it changes much from year to year.

Visited July 2013
4 Thank Phillips8611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Huge disappointment and waste of money!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

There are not enough words to truly encompass my disappointment in this event. My husband and I counted down the months and were like two excited little kids. We rearranged work schedules and paid grossly inflated hotel costs to only be let down. We bought a 3 day pass and simply cut our losses and skipped the last day due to the fact it was horrid. The "battlefield" was an inadequate sized patch of land that was only visible from the grand stands that you had to pay extra for and once you did, you still were not guaranteed a seat. The commentary was biased and inaccurate. My husband and I were appalled! We wanted to hear some of the speakers but could not get a seat in the tents because so many people were seeking refuge from the heat. It was a fiasco and we will never return to another. We wished we would have saved the money and time and just enjoyed the park. GAC should be ashamed as should many of the reenactors ("We win this one, right?"). Disgusting.

Visited July 2013
6 Thank Tshifflett83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Ohio
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

First of the good. The reenactments were awesome. With 10,000 reenactors, over 100 cannons, and 700 cavalry you were able to see the scope of these Civil War battles. They were very well organized. I thought that the reenactors did an amazing job.

The living history tents were packed with great information. The reenactors in these tents, knew a great deal of information about the characters that they portrayed. I learned a lot from them.

Now for the bad, as great as the reenactments were this event was overshadowed by a total lack of organization and thought for the people shelling out the money to attend.

Parking was a mess. The people directing traffic were not coordinated and almost directed me into another moving car. Leaving the events, I sat for two hours. Just horrible designed, thank goodness there wasn't an emergency.

The heat index on many of the days was over 100. You are not allowed to carry a bag or cooler. You are allowed to carry in one bottle of water, which each of my family members did. Keep in mind that we were at the event from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. There is no shade in the entire park. Water is 3.00 a bottle, the first day there I spent over $30 on water and shaved ice. My son got sick from the heat and spent much of the day in the medical tent. The medical tent was full of people suffering from the same thing, just no where to get in out of the sun. The worker in the medical tent told me that I wasn't giving my son enough water. He had plenty of water, but got a headache from the lack of shade.
The second day I carried in a book bag full of water, security kind of gave me a hard time, but I explained the previous days problems and they let me in.

Grandstand seating is a must for this event, but you have to find a seat at least an hour before the battles begin. The main seats are directly in the sun again with no shade. They sold enough tickets for both sets of grand stands, but you cannot see from the lower set. This meant that twice as many people were trying to sit in main grandstand. They were overcrowded, sitting elbow to elbow for several hours while the heat index was over 100 degrees. Many people got sick and had to leave, which was difficult in the over crowded bleachers. My wife and I actually thought that the bleachers would collapse, as we could feel them shaking.

Food vending was another problem. There just weren't enough of them. The food options and food quality was not good either. Don't get me started about the prices. Keep in mind that we had to eat two meals a day at the reenactment. Once you buy your over priced food, there is nowhere to sit and eat. No picnic tables, only two shade tents with 100 chairs each. There were over 20,000 people at this event per day. We found shade under a trailer and ate there, very ungratifying experience.

My kids were bored out of there minds. With four hours in between reenactments, there is honestly nothing to do for kids. I tried to listen to some of the speakers, but again a tent that holds a few hundred while there are tens of thousands of people. The tents with speakers were also about one half mile apart, so if you tried to listen to one speaker and then another, well forget about getting to the second one. Overall not a family friendly experience.

The UGLY. I am absolutely disgusted with the greed of this event. The GAC actually has the nerve to brag about donating $50,000 dollars to charity. 80,000 spectators came to this event. This donation is less than one dollar per ticket sold. The event would have raised nearly $3,000,000 just off of admissions and only donated $50,000 back to local museums and battle field conservation. I thought the event was to raise money for these charities, not to line someones pockets.

I love reenactments and thought the reenactments were great, but there is no way that I would return. There is much to see at Gettysburg and learn at Gettysburg.

Visited July 2013
11 Thank oxford97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“teaching history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

the reenactments brought my children closer to history, and the cannon barrage was awesome. the camps showed them how troops lived. also got the first hand knowledge of the troops on the why's they were fighting for there causes.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank JohnL29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apollo Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“150th magnificent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

the 150th reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, was 4 days to remember, reflect and view the war as seen from the sidelines of the fields. Each battle, 2 per day, were orchestrated well and executed with all the force and thunder I could imagine of the 1800"s.
Filled with the battlefields, the Sutler village of merchandise used in the area and History village give spectators an insight look at the era, goods and a chance to speak with living history figures and the soldiers who fight the battles.
Give yourself a treat next summer and see the reenactment at Gettysburg. Book early for hotel room. I suggest the Hampton Inn on York Road. Great rooms and service, plus reasonable prices for this event

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Ross A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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